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November 30, 2021 74 mins
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Speaker 1 (00:01):
I Robert Evans, this is Behind the Bastards. You sure
you didn't sound so sure? You know, Sophie, the nature
of identity is so complicated. Who can say who anyone is?

Who is us? Who is us? This is my new
podcast Who is Us? With Robert Evans, presumably and definitely
Sophie Lictorman. Definitely, definitely, so, Sophie Lictorman. This is a
show about bad people. It's called Behind the Bastards. Uh,
And to talk about bad people with me is one
of the better people I know. David Christopher Bell, jeez,

thanks full legal name legal Dave. Yeah, just work together
for many a year. We lived together for a year.
We did Our cats were once as friends. M Ark
allied together against another cat might be a better way
of putting yes and me, Like whenever I cat said,

your cat would have want to have nothing to do
with me and loved my cat and you know, honestly
that's fine. Yeah, I'd rather be that Yeah cat cat
cat lies, Dave. How do you feel about libertarians? Oh? No,

people know that you don't tell the guess anything, right.
They that the show would not work if we told
me coming sometimes they know the broad subject. But I
don't even like that. That's not my preference. But that
bit is so good it will never get old. What
do you think about here, libertarians? My thoughts are, like anything,

the most vocal people representing it are incredibly irritating. But
I suspect there's a lot of very good ones who
keep to themselves. I I I was a libertarian for
many years. I still think there's a lot of good
stuff in in some of the things libertarians say. I
think John Carpenter might be one, but he might John Carpenter. Um. Yeah,

today we are talking about the most vocal ones and
and specifically the most kind of unhinged vocal ones. We
are today, Dave, Well, this week, really I'm going to
give you the long history of libertarians taking to the
sea to try and establish floating nations. Oh my god,
are we gonna beat? I don't want to spoil. Are
we gonna be talking about Sealand? Oh you bet a

little bit, a little bit about Seland yeah, we're we're
talking about the whole history of it because spoiler, every
story in's the same way, which is a bunch of
people lose money and there's no libertarian floating nation. I
feel like when step one is taken to the seat.
It does not end well generally speaking. I mean I've

known sailors and no it doesn't. Yeah, uh so sorry,
I just I have a blanket view of the ocean.
I don't think it wants us in there. It doesn't
want to. We're not we don't belong there. And if
I mean, you know, well, we'll talk about why people
do this, and yes, for the folks who want to
there's always people who want to be like pedantic about

like I don't know if this one's really a bastard,
or like we'll do like two episodes on like we
recently did two episodes on like industrial level child molesters,
and then we did an episode on a guy who
was like an early fitness influencer and just like kind
of shitty about eating disorders. And people are like, well,
they're not really like this doesn't really mean. Yeah, they're
not all gonna be guys who raped five thousand kids.

You know what kind of show. That would be a
bad show. People would not want to listen every week.
So absolutely we're going to talk about libertarians taking to
the sea to build their own nations, and yeah, most
of them are shitty people. So it's fine they belong here. Okay,
speaking of which, we're gonna start by talking about Peter Teal.
So Peter Teal, PayPal co founder, UM monarcho libertarian, uh

quasi fascist influencer UM on a grand cash scale UM,
and you know, just just man about town. Peter teele
is bank. Yeah, he's running for president or he's running
for senator under the name Jade Vance. I think he
is currently running for senator under the name Jade Vans.
Dark money kingpin. Peter teele Um has been on a

couple of occasions has shotgun money out towards bankrolling and
exploratory round of sea steating experiments UM. In libertarian utopian
living c s sea steads in general, that refers to
self sustaining colonies of like floating UM homes basically, So
sometimes it could be about it could be like a

little island of these weird little hexagonal like housing units
that float. There's a bunch of different designs around there. UM.
Everybody's kind of arguing about what the best version of
this is. But a lot of libertarians think c stetting
is the future. In eater, Teal has put and not
it's not significant to him, but significant amount of money
to normal people into backing different c stetting projects. And

the basic idea, um is that with the c stead
you'll be in the ocean, so you won't have to
you won't have to um abide by any nations laws.
So all of these different things ideas libertarians have about
taxes and gun laws and age of consent laws, uh,
mainly age of consent pass um won't won't apply. They can,

you can, you can try to, you can. Really it
could be. I think there's an idea that like, well,
if you get enough people out in the sea living
living the way we think people should live, everyone else
will see that it works and then our ideas will
take over. Right, There's a number of different ways that
gets sold to people. And um, yeah, it's it's water
World rules. Yeah, it's water World rules. Um one second,

I have the wrong document open. I just realized that's fine.
You want me to just talk about water World for
a little bit. Yeah, talk about water World for a second, Dave.
I mean I I imagine it's water World rules down
to like, yeah, Kevin Costner being like a shitty dude
who like, at one point I think he's going to
barter the woman and child that he's with he share.
Does that is a moment in that movie? Y? Yeah,

that movie is terrible, So you may have heard Dave that.
In September of this year, The Guardian published an article
about the doomed voyage of the Satoshi, which was a
cruise ship a bunch of libertarian crypto nerds had bought
and tried to turn into a floating city. Did you
catch this story? I vaguely caught it. I think that's
one of those headlines that I was just like, not today, Yeah,

time for this one. It's it's very funny, it's it's
it's a pretty hilarious failure. We'll talk about it in
detail later. But like when this when it went viral
that like libertarians were trying to like create their own
independent nation on a boat in the middle of the ocean,
a bunch of people started bringing up BioShock. If you
played BioShock Weirdly enough, I've played BioShock Infinite, Okay, I do.

I do remember I played all the first one, and
I do recall that he is making an ocean city
in that. Yeah, yeah, it's a libertarian I haven't played
the game either, but I'm familiar as an Internet person
with the basics, which is that it's like a libertarian
underwater city that goes disastrously lying and everybody murders each other. Right, Um, yeah,
that's the basic idea. Um. So I think most people

are at least broadly aware of it. Um. And yeah,
it's uh, it's it's it's funny that people would compare
libertarians buying a boat, calling naming it after the founder
of bitcoin, and then like trying to create a nation
with it, too rapture, because the reality of the situation
is that like rapture in BioShock, which is that Libertarian
City was itself like inspired by about like sixty years

of libertarians trying to make cities and boats um in
various parts of the open ocean. Like yeah, like it's
not tire, Like it was made as a satire. It
was made as a satire, so you you wouldn't want
to like watch the satire and be like, hey, that's
a good idea, I should model it after that. Yeah,

it's it's missing the point. Yeah, it's missing the point.
But it's also funny to me that people are like, oh,
this is how ridiculous some of these people are that
they like inadvertently did the thing that happened in this
video game and was like clearly a bad idea. Um.
And the reality is that the video game was just
kind of making fun of the fact that they keep
trying to do this. This is like this is this

is like two of our lifetimes of a certain kind
of libertarian trying to make a boat nation and it
never works, um, but it's always very funny. So the
history of this, this this this longstanding like drive more
than half a century old to like create an habitat
in the ocean that libertarians can try their ideas out

in that goes back to the golden age of science fiction. Specifically,
it goes back to a guy named Robert Heinlan Um.
Heinlan most famously wrote Starship Troopers. Um. He's also one
of the founding fathers of modern libertarian politics. He like
helped create American style libertarianism. Um. He was a fascinating guy.
He was kind of like Gene Roddenberry in that, like

a number of his his science fiction books at the
time were like ahead of the curve on things like
racial justice and not in a way that is particularly
impressive today. But he had like a habit of like
he'd make his protagonists not white dudes, um, but not
making a big deal. It was just like you know
this this this guy's Hispanic and that's just the thing
that's going on, which was not super common at the

time for its time. There's also some racist hell stuff
and some high loss but yeah, um, I'm I'm not trying.
I'm just trying to give you an idea of like
why this guy is is stuck out to people. Um,
he played around with a lot of libertarian ideas and
a lot of really authoritarian ideas. He was a weird
because like Starship Troopers is like a fascist book, Like

it's it's extremely fascist if I recall, um, their hope
and his interpretation is not what the book intended, and
it's making fun of the book. It's a it's and
now I know there's talk of making like another adaptation
without that satire. Yeah, and it's like we're I think

they're going the wrong way with that. Yeah, that definitely Yeah,
because Verehoven like heard people describe Starship Troopers, which is
the military runs the state, which exists entirely to like service,
its ability to continue to do violence against these aliens that,
as far as we know, had no role in provoking,
like a fight with humanity. Um. And Heinlan or or

Verehoven heard that it was just like, well, that sounds
fascist as hell. I guess I'll just make a fascist movie, um, right,
And no one knew I saw at the time. Yeah,
I saw a screening of Starship Troopers where Verehoven did
a Q and A afterwards, and he talked about his
exasperation where he's like, I literally dressed them like Nazis. Yeah, yeah,

like no one, no one realized it. Yeah. Uh, it's incredible. Yeah,
and it's some of what happens with Robert Heinland is
also incredible. Um because so in addition to some fascist stuff,
Heinland plays around with a lot of libertarian ideas, which
is a big part of why he's remembered today. His book,
in particular, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is like

a lot of people would consider it a foundational text
for like the American libertarian movement. It's a it's a
very influential book. Um. And to kind of describe what
happens in the book, I'm going to read a write
up of it from The Baffler. Heinland's own apparent anti
government ethos is channeled through the elderly Peruvian born Professor Proft.
Bernardo de la Paz. Prof Is one of among hundreds

of outcasts, outlaws and outsiders inhabiting underground colonies on the Moon,
or as it's known in the late twenty one century. Luna.
Proft's cheap comrades and arms are an Amazonian blonde rabble rouser,
wyoming not and a one armed computer technician, the narrator
Hero Manuel Garcia O'Kelly Davis, the Ragtag Trio spearheads of
revolutionary movement to make this ramph Ecco outpost for the

marginalized into a self governing nation free of the repressive
rule of Earth. So there's like, you see why like
this this is attractive to people, Right, there's this idea
that there's a lot of like libertarian politics in it.
There's also weird stuff like it's a mix of Congress
is dumb and like governments can't get anything done, and
also monarchy would be cool. Um, yeah, I get the

like every year when I pay taxes, I become a
libertarian for a second, Like, I get it. I understand
the government's extremely frustrating and there's something very appealing about
going off and starting your own thing. I absolutely get it. Yeah,
it's like in the d m V everybody is a
libertarian or yeah exactly, like you're just ready to burn

it all down. Um, but no, And what what's interesting
there to me is kind of like with Starship Troopers,
people take like a weirdly like the Minute of the
Horse Mistress is about like people who are part of
who are living in a colony that's being a by
a government, rebelling in order to become independent. And see

setting which is heavily influenced by this book is about
sailing to the ocean to just hide from the government
and and mind bitcoin. So I think there's a difference.
I don't think. I don't think they're necessarily reading Heinlan right.
That said, Robert Heinland probably would be into cease stutting.
So perhaps I'm the one that's wrong here. Um. It
also seems like never are a good policy to like

start your belief structure from a fictional book, because it's
it's not the writer isn't intending it to be something
that you're you you take like an instruction manual, I assume.
So it just seems like a recipe for disaster in general. Yeah,
I mean, I'm sure like Heinlan was playing with ideas

that were interesting to him and that some of which
he thought should be instituted. Like that's pretty common and
in fiction with a political edge, But I don't think
I don't think he was seeing it as being as
influential as it was in the way that it was.
I think he'd be bummed that it's mostly been used
for people to steal money from other people in order
to not build boats. I think he would be unhappy

with that. Fair um So, yeah, you can see the
influence of the Moonsha Harsh Mistress and of Heinland in general,
and like Elon Musk's plans to colonize Mars, the Crypto
Orders making an an f T cartoon about apes flying
to another planet to set up a colony. Like all
of this, it's a common theme in in libertarian kind

of angled fiction ever since. Um Now, The Moon Is
a Harsh Mistress was published in nineteen sixty six, and
in nineteen seventy one, a millionaire developer from Las Vegas,
a guy named Michael Oliver attempted to create his own
libertarian utopia. So, I don't know, we know Michael Oliver
was definitely a Heinland fan. I don't know which which
book in particular spurred him on, but I kind of

think it's The Moon is the Harsh Mistress. Um. So
five years after that gets published, this guy Michael all
of her decides he's going to make his own independent
libertarian state. And since there was no room on land,
he decided to take to the sea. He established what
he called the Republic of Minerva on a partially submerged
reef near Tonga. Was called the Republic of Minerva because
a boat called the Minerva had sunk there. Um, which

could start, yeah, naming it after the last failure that
happen around there. My goodness. Yeah, it is a little
bit of a weird call. Um. So there's a little
bit of land here. It's mostly just like barely reef
that's barely above the water line and sometimes under it,
like depending on kind of where the tide is. Um.

It's only land in the technical sense of the word.
But Oliver decides, like, I'm going to take this since
it's in the it's in the it's up for grabs, right,
anyone can own it if nobody owns it, right, no one.
No one's gonna stop him there, And they're like, yeah, sure,
that is what he thinks. He gets together two other
co founders who put in funding alongside him, um, and
he announces through like magazines and stuff, that he's creating

a republic. Uh. He said in these ads that he
wanted to make quote and escape from high taxes, riots, drugs,
and crime. Um. Which magazines like libertarian magazines. Yeah, we've
got the name of one of them in here. Um.
It is because this is right after like the Holy
Week uprisings, after Martin Luther King's murder and all of

the different kind of protests and riots in the wake
of that. So there's there's kind of a little bit
of a of a white supremacy angle here where it's
like all the cities are so fucked up because of
all the bad things we did to black people. Time
to take to the ocean. Yeah, evergreen statement that there's
always a little bit of white supremacy in these subsidies

go in there too, Like okay, um, yeah, I want
to quote from the website curbed here about Michael's plans.
They intended to build a four acre artificial island over
the reef and turn it into a resort that would
sparkle like a jewel in the blue South Pacific. According
to one of the Republic of the Nervous self published newspapers,
they hope to attract tens of thousands of residents and

base their governance structure on zero taxes, no welfare, no subsidies,
and no economic intervention. A coin collector and a real
estate investor, Oliver used much of his own wealth to
establish the Republic of a Nerva. Soon after sending a
declaration of independence, another founder, Morris Davis, built a tower
of stones on the reef and planted a flag, a
golden torch set against a blue background for the new

country on it. So they got a flag. Now they
got a little stone tower and a flag. That's step
one gets step one flag there, and then you're good
to go. I do just love that this guy, with
his experience speculating in real estate and collecting coins, is like,
I can make a country, right, I could be the
founding father or something. I got some means founding fathers

they weren't anything. I mean, yeah, I mean honestly, you
look at like George Washington and it's like it is
just kind of some jackaspion, Like, yeah, I think I
can make his work. They're just bunch of dudes hung
out like at a bar. Yeah, it is funny, but
you are right. Every country was just founded by a
bunch of dudes at a bar. Right, it's for me.

It's with the libertarian stuff. It just always seems like
they're gonna accidentally invent government every time. Right, you should
say that, Dave, because that happens in every one of
these stories. So because they're like, how do we pay
for things? I don't know, maybe everybody gives a little
bit of money, Like they start slowly stumbling on the
same conclusion. It's the same thing that's happened with cryptocurrency,

is like, because all these people get all of their
money stolen constantly because there's no protections or safeguards, and
then there's no recourse if all of your money gets stolen,
and so people have like created things like coin base
and crypto dot com that are places where you store
your money and you have a guarantee to be protected.
It's like like, we're getting out of the bank system, right.

It was like Lift was like, we're creating shuttles that
go from point A to B and everybody pays a
little bit. And it's like, do you mean a bus?
Are you talking about a bus? Yeah, but more expensive. Yeah,
that's the the genius innovations of liberal It's very frustrating.
I just once, I would like to see some Libertarians
innovate in their community. But I don't know, filling in

potholes um or altering the speed limits on on an
interstate that has speed traps. Um, go go do something
you don't. If they don't, don't just go don't. Don't
try to make another boat city. It's not gonna work anyway. Whatever.
So the founders of the Republic of Minerva, after they
get their flag up at everything higher an Australian boat
to fill the reef stuff with up with sand and

their plan is just to dump sand on these shallow
reefs until there's land. Right, that's the idea. That's how
I'd do it. But yeah, that makes sense. Yeah. They
wanted to get it to about eight feet above sea
level um and they figured that if they could create
fifteen acres of actual land that would be enough to
convince investors that they were legitimate and thus get enough

money to raise up to undred acres. So like, we're
gonna make fifteen acres and we'll use that as a
proof of concept. And then once people realize how much
money is being made in having a barren island of
free enterprise with no resources other than sand, um, they'll
come crawl, they'll cut, the money will pour in. Absolutely. Yeah,

there's no taxes. Is there fresh water? Well? Know, can
you can you grow food? Not really there? Shopping? No,
but no telexes. Look at all this land we got.
We can play like volleyball, and yeah it's tax free baby. Um.
That said, like, there's ways it might have worked, especially
if it actually had, if they'd got somehow gotten you

in recognition, and rich people could just claim to live
there and not pay taxes. Like I could see how
this could be a money making scheme, And it might
have been a money makes making scheme that worked if
not for one thing, the existence of other countries. That
was the one thing they didn't take into accounts. So
damn other countries, These these these barren shoals that they're

trying to pile sand onto are a little you know,
I think just a couple of miles off the coast
of Tonga, which is an island in the South Pacific,
an island that has a government Dave and the military,
and Tonga cease these foreigners creating what like it looks
like they're trying to create a new country right outside

of Tonga on land that on the land, like their
naval vessels patrol and it's like, well, We're not really
okay with this. It's like I'm imagining, like looking through binoculars, like, yeah,
I better call somebody forget to do them about this. Huh.
If you don't, if you don't get libertarians, if you
don't get rid of them quickly, you're just gonna have
a nest of the bastards. Darn we got libertarians? Wait,

social or free market? Now? Free market? God damn it
gets spray libertarians? Are they at least mutualists? No? God him? Yeah?
Um so the head of State of Tonga sent them
a letter basically being like, We're not gonna let you
set up an empire on our doorstep. That's that's not okay.

So the first thing Tonga does is they start air
dropping just random boxes of AIDS supplies onto the reef
in order to establish ownership, right, like, if our government
provides a service to this barren reef, then clearly it's
part of our territory. That's also like a really good
way to insult libertarians. I feel like it's like, here,
have some help, and we don't want help. God damnit,

none of them know. Nobody's there at the time. Maybe
some crabs. Maybe some crabs got some free food out
of this. Yeah, this is absurd on the side of
Tonga too, because they're literally just being like, well, okay,
let's drop random supplies on this island with a population
of zero, then it's our suddenly. Like again, like cryptocurrency

does kind of accurately get across to people like, yeah,
money is nonsense, Like it's all, it's all, it's all
a fucking con game. Yeah, so actual governments to be fair,
like you see it in this where they're like, oh,
they're saying that's there's what. We never cared about this
piece of nothing before, but now let's drop some random

crap on it, so it's ours. It's very funny. Um so, uh,
this did not succeed in dissuading the Libertarians, they still
continue to claim that they were a republic, and so
in June of nineteen seventy one, the King of Tonga
used his military to officially seize the land, which again
had nobody on it. The dream of the Republic of

Minerva died, but the grift did not die, because grifts
are eternal. Michael Oliver started minting coins for his country
after it was taken back by the Tongan government in
order to raise funds too, I guess reconquer it. It
was kind of unclear what the money was for. I
was gonna say, yeah, yeah, what a step two here, buddy.

You know what that feels like to me is that
he had a really good idea for coins and then
they threw this in front of him, and he wasn't
going to change his plan. Yeah, he was gonna stop
making coins. Yeah I had I have cool designs for coins.
I'm gonna do them no matter what he had. He
had gold coins for seventy five dollars in silver coins
for thirty five dollars um. And I should note now

that these are Minerva dollars. Seventy five Minerva dollars um
and thirty five Minerva dollars, So I don't know the
actual value. I'm not certain of the exchange rate. This
is like when Usher was Usher, who was handing out
his own Usher bucks. Yes, sounds like these our Usher bucks.
So he advertised these these Minerva dollars um as late

as nineteen seventy five and austere publications like the Libertarian Review.
So the Tongue and Government takes him out. In seventy
one and seventy five, he's selling Minerva dollars into the
tagline the World's most unusual new country inspiration for the
most unique metal coin ever minted. M Yeah, it is
on usual to have a country with no people that

gets immediately conquered. That that is not common. Yeah, I'm
not sure house you'd sell it by being like this
is fucking weird, right, you want a piece of this? Yeah?
We made some calls, didn't we. Yeah. That said, if
anyone can find any Republic of Minerva coinage, um, I
would love that. Yeah. They come up online for sales sometimes,

but I haven't found any recently. I feel like, ironically
they're now worth a lot because it's probably like a problem,
like how expensive they are you know. Oh yeah, they're
probably just a collector's item. Yeah, um, collectors for fans
of horribly failed grifts. Yeah. I'd be lying if I
said I wouldn't get one just for fun, to have
it like on on my shelf or something and have

a little story there. I had a friend who got
very excited to buy an in Ron mug. You know,
it's just some of the somethings are exciting. Um. Yeah,
So moving on from there, Um, I I should make
a note because we're starting with the Republic of Minerva,
which I think is the first example of the thing
we're talking about today, But there is one other thing

that kind of happened around the same time that before
you get to that. It is time. It's time for
you know, are you interrupting me to make us go
to add Sophie just for capitalism sake, just for capitalism
sick and so that we can stay in our houses. Yes,
I do love staying in my house, all right. Oh

I do love a good house. Um, I love a
bad house. Just a big fan of houses, house music,
so good perfect house m D the TV show. Oh
yeah yeah, great, great, great, great vehicle for um. Laurie
that's his name. M you know there's an episode with

Jeremy Renner in House. Oh no, I've forgotten, meanness. I
remember this. It's all coming back to me. Yeah. God,
what a tragedy. Um. So we're gonna talk now about
the Republic of Seland, which is kind of it happened
right around the same time as the Republic of Minerva. Um.
I kind of think Republic of Minerva is more the

Republic of Sealand isn't quite a libertarian thing. It's weird.
Um alright, talk about it. Yeah, I've always wanted to
go to Sealand. I actually a long time ago, I
wrote a screenplay with Sealand in it, and I did
a lot of research that I now completely forget. It's
a principality. It's principality. The Principality of sea Land was

established on an old Royal Navy platform that was built
during World War Two to like protect shipping. So it's
it's not not even shoals. It's just like this big
metal looks a little bit like a tiny oil derrick
kind of situation built in in the ocean in order
to uh uh put guns on it to shoot things.
And after the war, the British take the guns away

and it's just this platform. And you might think, well,
didn't the British Navy own it? No, because they illegally
built built it in in foreign foreign countries waters or
an international water. Sorry, and you can't. You're not allowed
to weaponize international waters. So the Royal Navy builds this
this platform and they're like uh. And then the Warren's
and the other countries are like, you know, it's an

international crime for you to have that. And since you
built it to fight Nazis, nobody's gonna say anything, but
you should probably bounce. So the Royal Navy leaves this platform. Um.
And in nineteen sixty five, UM, the UK has all
these really harsh laws about what can be played on
the radio and not so in the sixties and seventies
there's a bunch of pirate radio stations that will like

take to the sea and illegally broadcast music that can't
be played normally in the UK. And one of these
that that's fucking rat as. It's like pump up the
vall the principality of ceiling. There's some ad ship here
because it first gets inhabited when a pirate radio crew
in nineteen sixty five occupies the platform. UM, and it

looks like a couple of them get in there. And
in September of nineteen sixty seven, a British citizen and
radio pirate named Roy Bates occupies it and while he's
broadcasting illegal music from it, declares it an independent principality. Um.
There's a whole fun story here. Mercenaries get involved. At
one point, there's like a civil war and Sea Land
basically and a government in exile. UM. A lot of

a lot of wild ship happens in Sea Land. UM.
It's not really a LIBERTATETD. It's not a super political
thing like from what I recalled they do like online
gambling now Like yeah, I I it's it's more of
like it's more of what I can get behind, which
is like, look at this thing that's just out there
that no one owns. Yeah, let's brick up the place

and like do stuff. There's not a pretension that they're
like experimenting with a new frontier and civilization. They're like, Hey,
if we take over this thing in the middle of
the ocean that no one owns, we can broadcast songs
without paying and gamble, which, right, I am entirely supportive of. Yeah,
I feel like if a bunch of libertarians showed up,
they'd be like, no, we're full, Like, I don't think

they want to build anything. We're not in this pret
your revolution, buddy, Yeah, we got here before you too badly,
you know. And Roy dies his I think his kids
are now running everything. Like it's basically like a gimmick
branding opportunity for the family. I'd call it. There's a
roadside attraction vibe to it, even though obviously getting there
is a nightmare. Um So, yeah, you've got Celand, you've

got the Republic of Minerva. Late sixties, early seventies, but
for obvious reasons, the libertarian dream of taking to the
sea to avoid regulation it was clearly present that early,
but it had to wait until the Internet age to
really take off. You know, people try this back in
the day, but it's just it's really hard to build
a libertarian boat city without modern technological resources. I should say,

it's hard to grift people into crowdfunding a libertarian boat
city that never gets built. It's that idea that there's like, right,
there's like there's probably like a couple of thousand people
who will buy your grift. The problem is they're spread
out throughout the world. There's not many in each town, right,
And the Internet has made it, you know, instead of
being the person going town to town selling tonics and whatnot,

you can just like blast it out on Twitter and
then they all come to you. Yeah. Otherwise you'd have
to go person to person and ask like, hey, is
anything bad if it happened to you, and then if
they say no, say I got a deal for you. Yeah. Exactly.
You seem like a trusting little lamb. So in nineteen
a guy named Howard Turney was he claims, and he's

a liar, so can you take that with a bit?
He says that for years before he'd had a dream
of like following in the footsteps of the Republic of Minerva,
but but getting it right and creating like an independent
nation or an independent community in the ocean that could
abide by libertarian principles. In n he's hanging out in
Caribbean c and he finds a nice stretch of unusually

shallow water that's in international waters, so it's underwater, but
it's shallow, so with enough sand you could actually like
build an island out there. It's kind of his idea. Um,
So he says, he finds this in n and he
decides to raise up new Land and establish a utopia.
Now right around this same time, I'm not sure if
the desire to fund the creation of a new island

utopia came first or if this came first. But he
changes his name to Lazarus Long. Oh my god, yeah
that is that is a porn star name. And yeah,
I was about saying he's not doing porn. Come on, no, no,
he changes it to Lazarus Long because Lazarus Long, in
addition to being obviously a porn name, is an homage
to a Robert Heinland book. Um, and I'm gonna I'm

gonna quote from an article Independent from in the Independent
explaining Howard Attorney's thinking here he decided there were too
many Howard turneys around and anyway, as he puts it,
Prince Lazarus has a ring to it. He took his
new name from a character and time Enough for Love,
a novel by the American science fiction author author Robert Heinland.
I admired his philosophy. It was so close to my

own philosophy, as he says of his fictional antecedent, the
Lazarus Long of Heinland's epic saga, is centuries old and
lives in a world where aging is a thing of
the past. His philosophy amounts to a series of pro
individualistic slogans that can fairly easily easily be said to
represent the thinking of the man who created them. Heinland
coined the phrase there ain't no such thing as a
free lunch, and among his other catchy aphorisms, are all

men are created, unequal, taxes are not levied for the
benefit of the text, and beware of altruism. It is
based on self deception, the root of all evil. Huh yeah,
So okay, So going back to so Lazarus Long you
mentioned there about people like living forever, and like that's
what that's what's going on, right, the Lazarus, like that

was that's a reference to like Jesus resurrecting people for sure,
And then long as in Long, yeah, just you know,
like if he just wanted to make sure he had
that double. In the golden age of science fiction, subtlety
had not yet been invented. We hadn't we hadn't cracked

the nut on being subtle. So yeah, every character. I mean,
let's be fair, the founding the founding fiction piece for
a cyberpunk. The most influential piece of science fiction in
in decades was hero protagonist. Yeah. No, I mean two
of the biggest sci fi things is Star Wars. Yeah,

and very little to the imagination and the one where
they explore in space. Yeah, we're not good at that,
but at the same time it sells. It works, so yeah,
you don't need to be Look if the if the
story is good, people will forgive a shitty title. Yeah, um,
I don't know. I haven't read this. Heindland book. Maybe
it was good. So before his name change, Howard had

been a small town kid from Bowie, Arizona, who had
worked briefly as a cowboy before becoming an entrepreneur. He
had definite narcissist vibes, telling an interviewer once, it took
me a few years to realize that I had more
intelligence than the average person and more imagination. This is
funny because he speaks to all of the guys who
try this, and literally all of their experiments in creating

new nations are the same and all in the same way.
So I love the fact that he's like, I'm more
imaginative than the average person. I mean, it's one of
the biggest Yeah. Like, if anybody's like I'm smarter and
more imaginative than most people, I'm like, all right, I'm
gonna walk the other way. We don't need to be
having this conversation. Yeah. Yeah. So Howard was a successful businessman.

He made money in the restaurant industry and then started
marketing products for grocery stores. He farmed shrimp, he repaired
and sold generators. He's just like makes a bunch of
different businesses. And then in July of nineteen nine, when
he's fifty nine, he reads a report in the New
England Journal of Medicine about h g H, or human
growth hormone UM, and the study show that world were
two vets injected with h g H lost body fat

and gained muscle mass. So Howard starts selling g h
g H like he's he's like selling steroids. Basically, two people,
this is the thing that like Joe Rogan takes um
and uh. He sells it for like eighteen months before
the pharmaceutical industry realizes there's profit to be made um
and starts like selling them officially. Um. So Howard like

gets build a clinic in Mexico. Um, in order to
sell H g H to bodybuild the pharmaceutical company. Was like, wait,
we can't do they make money off this ship? Yeah?
Um yeah, So he gets rich selling h g H
as one of the first people selling h H. Um.

So it's exciting that like supplements have been with with
us for a while in the libertarian space. So um
he Prince Lazarus again, that's how he's known when the
story starts, I know it's amazing. Pays four thousand dollars
of his H g H money into the New Utopia Project,
as he calls it, which is his planned to build

an island in the shallow part of the Caribbean. He
estimates the total project will cost two hundred and sixteen
million dollars. So, like literally every other dude in our
story and yeah, they're all dudes, he starts trying to
raise money to fund this. Um. He raises it through
what's called the New Utopia Development Trust, which he registered
in Bailey's because they don't make you pay taxes. When

journalists would question whether or not this was all just
a grift. He would assure them that neither he nor
his governors were members of the trust, which he said
was independent and would only give a small percentage of
construction costs to members of the government, which I'm sure
it was completely true. It seems on the level, totally
seems on the level. Nothing weird here. New Utopia gets

off the ground right around the same time as another
very dumb project called Oceania, which was another floating libertarian
city that started raising money to build itself in the
early nineteen nineties, right around the kind of the same
time as New Utopia. I haven't found much about Oceania
and never got off the ground. Is more than a website,
so I'm not going to talk about it in detail
other than to reference how the Prince you have to

call him the Prince responded when a libertarian writer asked
him why Oceania hadn't gone anywhere. So basically, these two
start around the same time, one of them fails. A
guy interviewing Prince Lazarus is like, hey, why do you
think it failed? And Lazarus says the problem was that
it was conceived by a bunch of radical militiamen. Everything
was going to be legal. You could carry an anti
tank gun down the street if you wanted, and they

were going to have dueling made lawful. Now, who's going
to invest their money in something like this where some
drunk challenges you to a duel and kills you. There's
not much incentive there. Mmmm feels like he's circling the point,
Like it's that thing of like, yeah, we can't make
it free for everybody all the time we have. There
has to be like limits set. And then it's the

question of well by who ye, And it's like, well,
those people were clowns. I'm the I'm extremely intelligent and creative. Yeah,
and it's I'm not. I'm not obviously coming from the
perspective of that, like the only way to have a
society is with like a top down government. But you, you,
you do have to think about it more than like

everyone can just do everything, and it's well, what do
you do if someone starts killing people? You have to
have an answer to that question. Like it says a
lot that none of these none when these guys find
themselves asked that question, none of them propose anything new.
They just wind up recreating the government um as it exists.
It's like, well, you don't actually have any ideas, you
just don't want to be told what to do. But

when you're angry at someone else, you just do government shit. Again.
They want to be at the top. It reminds me
a lot of when people are like back in the day,
are like this forum is bullshit, I'm gonna create my
own forum, and then they end up doing all the
same stuff because it's just that they want to be
in charge, and that's that's how you make four chance

Like it's just it's it's it's just like you either
if you do complete lawlessness, it's very hard to maintain
that right. You have to like, you have to have
an idea about what you want to replace the laws.
And if your only idea is I don't think I
should have to pay taxes and and should be able
to sleep with twelve year olds, um, then your society

is not going to have You're not going to have
anything ready other than well, I guess I'll do what
I just left when the problem happens. It's it's it
feels the same as starting a cult, because well it is, yeah,
because it's always like if I would be fine if
someone was like, look, I just don't want to be bothered.
I'm gonna go into the woods and I'm going to
live off the land or in this case, off the ocean,

and I won't bother you and you don't bother me.
The problem is that then it becomes this whole thing
where they like want other people there and they think
they think that they can make some sort of new
government and it it it's like depressing to say it's like, yeah,
it's all sort of we've we've thought it all up. Yeah.

And that's the thing if you if you're not coming
to it with like here is if you're only saying
I don't think these things should be present, but you're
not saying I think we should do this instead, then
you actually have an idea. You're just angry because things
that exist are imperfect. Um. I think there's there's a
if all if these guys are being like, hey, we're
going to start a new society in the sea, and

here's how we're going to deal with violence, and here's
what how we're going to decide what's restricted, and here's
going to be the community accountability. Okay, well maybe that
will work you guys clearly have an idea other than
I don't want to pay taxes or subsidies. Yeah, yeah,
if you're creating some sort of yeah, communal system where
everybody But yeah, this feels very have a plan right, Like,

it feels very much the idea that their ideas stop
short of I want to be in power. Like it's
still it feels like a power grab. Yeah, I think it's. Yeah.
The hope is I think, well, I think our most
of them is just like trying to make money. But yeah,
I think for a lot of people, it's the idea
that like, well, I'm I got in too late to

wind up ahead in where I came from. But if
I create a new place out of the sea, then
I can be the king there or literally the prince.
And again I feel like we've all had that instead uh,
to take to the sea article in the woods and
be like, you know what, I'm gonna stop all of this.
I'm just But then once you if you get into
that scenario, then it's like, oh, no, how do I

actually serve I mean, when I bought acres in Idaho
and then cut off all of the power and internet
access to that small town Um, I thought it was
gonna be simple, but it turns out people need all
sorts of things. You don't sounds simple, It does sound simple. Um,
but my god, for one thing, Dave, I don't know

if you know how expensive it is, but digging six
foot holes the size of a human body real problem anyway.
And if you get other people are real winers about
that stuff. They hate digging corpse holes. Um, and they
get pissed just because you blocked food from any what's
It's a real problem. But the point is I thought
about it more than these guys did, um, because I

didn't have to already make land because there's lots of Idaho,
right yeah, so and who gives a shit about that land?
Let you go out there and just do whatever for
a while and for a while, and then you know, okay,
well yeah there there there are some laws. So yeah.

But what we just talked about is like this thing
you notice a bunch is that like they don't they
always default to doing things the way they're done in
the world. They left when a problem occurs and they
don't have the only ideas, like political theory ideas that
they seem to want to institute are like not paying
taxes UM, and in fact, Prince Lazarus was one of
the most blatant about this. He bragged that New Utopia

would quote out Cayman the Caymans as a place to
hide wealth, so he was very open about this is
just for rich people as to use as a tax shelter. UM.
Citizens of New Utopia would pay no taxes, just a
fifteen hundred dollar five year bond that both buys you
citizenship and promised to pay nine point five annual interest
to the bearer. So you're an investor if you're a citizen. UM.

So that's good. No way that could wind up with
a situation that becomes slavery, like if people who come
there and don't have the bonds have to pay in labor.
I don't know a number of ways I could see
that going UM and interviews the princes compared this positively
to the fifty five thousand dollars a person had to
pay in order to become a citizen of Belize for
tax purposes, which is a thing you only know when

you've become the citizen of another nation for tax purposes.
Lazarus his goal was to get four thousand citizens to
fund start up costs, and by the time The Independent
interviewed him in nineteen seven, he had almost five hundred backers.
So you know, that's half a million dollars. More than
half a million dollars. Yeah, it's not six seven thousand,

So he actually did invest four hundred thousand. He's got
a good ready to return already. That was the year
Prince Lazarus began agitating for UN membership for his country. Yeah,
he's giant. Um, I'm sorry, it's just have some land first,

and like that is literally what the UN says. Yeah,
the UN is like, we would consider your membership if
there was land with people on it, which is our
our requirement for a country. That's fair. I think that's
more than fair from the U. N. Yeah, I think
because otherwise you're not gonna be able to get anything done.
As the UN people are going to be trying to
make everything into a country. Yeah. Yeah, oh yeah, I'd

be doing it left and right. And I would say
land with people on it is a pretty good line.
If you're like minimum characteristics of a nation, land with
people on it, we'll start. We'll start there and then
we'll ask some more questions. Yeah, which I think there's
more you could do. Is it your land by another government?
Do the people know you're making them into a country. Yeah,

you're planning committing Yeah, right, the number of genocides you
plan to commit next to and listen. If it's more
than one, that's okay. A lot of countries have Most
countries really are on the three to five point. There's
that instinct to put a zero, but it's like, we're
more concerned with you being honest at this. It's it's
like if you put nothing on your customs declaration coming

into the US, like you get away with a lot
of ship if you're like, yeah, I bought some stuff.
Like I came through customs once and he asked if
I brought any illegal drugs and I answered with I
don't remember, which is not the right answer, that turns out.
But I was just being honest because I hadn't slept
in a very long time because of the illegal drugs

you took out with you. That's correct, speaking of illegal drugs.
You know what you know well sells illegal drugs, Dave,
Oh No, all sorts of people, I imagine, namely the
products and services that support this podcast delicious well here's

hardcore drug use. M hm uh, we're back and we
are we we just smuggled some ship into the country,
then some ship out of the country. Then we kind
of we kind of square danced with the country a
little bit. Uh, it's been it's been good, good times.

So Prince Lazarus decides Tonga sent their military and to
take the last libertarian island nation that we tried to establish.
I don't want that to happen to me, So I'm
gonna get you in membership. Then I can't be invaded.
Um famously a thing that happens when you're in the U.
N you don't. You don't get invade, did um. But

that's what he decides to do, and he starts trying
to raise money from libertarians, saying I need a hundred
million dollars before the UN will accept me as a country.
That is not how it works. Yeah, I was gonna say,
do they take bribes, which, just like anybody with a
hundred million bucks, you get to be fucking every millionaire
would have a country if that was the way it worked,

like it would be nothing to them. Elon Musk would
have like thirty each based off of meme coins he
would be issuing passports. Yeah, oh yeah. I love the
idea that the u N takes pride. It's just like
und million bucks, not even like if if it's just
the right clerk, you slip him a hundred dollars. He's like, yeah, sure,

you guys are in the country. I'm just imagining a
shady u Win guy and a fucking uh trench coat
and the alleys of New York. Hey, you want to
start a country, could be get really easy for you.
Oh yeah, it's a good gript. Yeah so yeah. So
he announces this, he starts raising money, and the UN

sends a response being like, will consider your membership when
there's evidence that there's literally anything there. Um. This pisses
off Prince Lazarus and he lashes out, telling a reporter
that he didn't want to be in the UN anyway. Quote,
they're trying to implement worldwide banking rules and regulations that
are not in keeping with the philosophy of New Utopia.

Plus they have a refugee policy for all their members.
As a new little country, I cannot afford boatloads of
people from Central America or Cuba or Haiti coming to
my shores. Because I have no welfare system and I
have no plans to have a welfare system. You also
don't have shores. Yeah, you don't have a lot of things, abuney,
there's there's there's actually nothing that you have. It really

seems like you're just a guy. It's calling himself a
country and running around and just like absolutely not. Yeah,
we're gonna put up my CREDNZA. Yeah, it kind of
seems like we need to call like your family and
see if they could come get you. It would be

funny if the if the U N had accepted him
but then just started sending refugees to his house. Look, man,
until you get ashore, you gotta put these people somewhere.
He's just kind of boxes of currency and refugees. Lazarus
had another plan to make his city profitable, unrestricted medical

testing on humans. H H business had gotten eaten away,
been big Farma hopped on the h g H train,
and so Lazarus next got interested in anti aging medication.
When he was interviewed in he told the reporter that
he had secret knowledge of upcoming anti aging developments. Quote,
there are things on the horizon that people today can
only dream about. We are not that far from being

able to live multiples of what we look at now
is the human lifespan. His name is Lazarus. His name
is Lazarus, and it's the saint. Peter til is also
really into immortality. It's a bunch of like, rich white
dudes who are scared of death and even more scared
that someone at any point might tell them what to do,
or just that they might not be able to act

with complete impunity and never consider other people or society
like that's the thing that's most offensive to them. I
think part of the money diseases that, like, for example,
if you were to say, hey, what if I sold
books online and you happen to be the first person
to do that, you think that every idea you have
from then on is amazing, when the reality is just

that you did a thing first and it was easy
for you because you were in the right place for it,
and ideas and like expansion seems easy in their minds,
and so it feels like it's a lot of people
who want to cut corners. Uh, who got successful once
and assume it's always going to be like that. Yep, Yeah,

I'm sure the cave person who invented fire for the
first time, Like I got a lot of clout for
a little while, and then tried some other experiment that
ended with them like catching their dick on fire and dying. Also,
I'm guessing people at the time, we're like, you didn't
invent fire, Like lightning hit that tree over there and
you grabbed the fire, like you you know, you just

were the first. You're the damn first. Yeah, it would
be funny the side of a caveman with like a
burning branch with a wild fire in the background, being like, look,
if you guys, if you guys all invest I can
make this like this. There's no into how big this
thing could get. Oh yeah, this fire could really spread.
This fire could really spread all the kids uncontrolled wildfire.

Yeah yeah, they kind of do. They kind of do so.
Um yeah he uh he claimed that basically. So the
claim he starts making is that there's a bunch of
miracle anti aging drugs that are totally ready for people
to take and can cure death, but the damn f
d A won't let him get approved. Um right, And
so New Utopia. What will make it profitable is once

they get this island built, you can sell these unapproved
drugs to anybody. Um, and that'll that'll. So he's like,
that's why I think rich people will invest because they
want my anti aging drugs. It just keeps getting better
and better. Yeah, it's it's very funny. Um. Next from
the Independent quote. Later this year, if everything goes to plan,

a construction company will begin pouring piles at thirty foot
intervals into these virgin reefs. Then precast concrete platforms will
be placed on top of them, and on top of
these a city will be erected. Plans for the initial
stage of development include apartments, are three d fifty thousand
square foot shopping mall, five hotels, a bank, a hundred
and fifty thousand square foot medical center, a casino, a

convention center, and a university offering scholarships to students from
every country in the world. There will be no taxes
in New Utopia, with the single exception of an import
duty tax on consumable goods, nor will there be any
kind of welfare system. A constitutional sovereignty. The Tree will
be run by a board of governors appointed by the
Prince himself. Currently, these governors are scattered all over the
world awaiting the time when they can formally take up

their posts. All of them, the Prince told me, are
experts in their chosen fields. Really wish we knew who
those guys were. Oh god, yeah. Imagine going out into
the world with a degree from New Utopia Community College
and being like, no, it's a real thing, trust me,
my guests, and I would I would wager to bet

that of the governors who are experts in their field
he hired to run his his country, not one of
them knew how to do things with sewage. Absolutely, I'm
just certain there was no one. There were no thoughts
going to like what about all the poop? Yes, I
I really get into like that that vibe that they
would build the city and then they'd be like, wait,
what do we put under this? Like they would not

have started there. And my guess is that they would
have just shat straight into the ocean and like killed
all of the sea around it and formed like this
disease is filled poop bog thearians. Yeah, I think that
it's right there. I get just walk into the ocean,
do your business and walk out that it would be
the benefit of living at sea self cleaning. Yep. So

the first phase of construction is was scheduled to be
completed by the start of September UM and UH of September.
On December, the country's first birthday celebrations were going to
be held. UM would start with the class the crowning
of Prince Lazarus. Then he would bestow titles on those
who had helped to create the new nation. UH. There

would be celebrity guests and an inaugural speedboat Grand Prix. UM.
So they had a lot of they had a lot
of ambitions. UM. Oh my goodness, did Yeah, they really did. Um.
But of course New Utopia never got off the ground.
The Securities and Exchange Commission eventually declared it a fraudulent
nationwide Internet scheme. And this is like nineties seven, so

this is a really groundbreaking fraudulent on internet skim, like
not a lot of precursors at that point. Really, I
love that it's like, we have downgraded your New Utopia
to Internet scheme to fraudulent internet scheme. The stark difference
between what he's selling and what it actually is, it's
pretty amazing. It's extremely funny. Um. Yeah. The sec ruled

that there was like no evidence he'd even tried to
figure out how to construct the project. Like, I don't
even think Lazarus Long ever wanted to make this. He
just wanted to get a bunch of money. Um. Now,
the fact that the SEC, like, if he was real,
the fact that the SEC had declared it a fraud,
should not have stopped him. If he was really motivated
to make this thing. And in fact, he had told
a reporter in n that there is nothing, no law

that can stop me. If for some reason it's slowed
down or postponed, I'll still make it happen. It's something
that needs to happen. Lazarus Long died in two thousand
twelve at age eighty eight, unable to obtain the immortality
drugs he desperately needed because he'd never gotten this country built. Dave,
that's a shame, man, It's a real tragedy. Imagine definitely
that country going. Yeah, that's probably his last thought. Yeah,

if only I got Mike Utopia started. Maybe that's what
was going through his daughter, Elizabeth Henderson's head went In
two thousand seventeen, she announced that she was restarting New
Utopia and that the project would have a completed floating
city that's heartbreaking. As we record this, we've still got
about six seven weeks left, so she could pull it out.

She could could. Honestly, I have more sympathy for her.
Uh and you know, if I can help in any way,
can Yeah, I'll help with this floating city. It's fine.
She probably had a lot to deal with. I'm guessing. Yeah.
I'm just thinking, like, you're raising the environment, and then
you probably love your your father and you want to

honor them. And it's like I'm getting into the family business,
or it's I'm getting into the family business of committing
from libertarians. It's just probably what it actually is. But
I like, I like to hope she's a true believer,
and it's like, I'm gonna make this voting city, got damnit? Yeah?
Um so yeah is when the New Utopia project like

both started and blew up. Um. It was also the
year that the first boat born libertarian ce nation concept
really got started. So you had these guys trying to
make platforms and islands and stuff in the middle of
the ocean. Now we're gonna have some libertarians. They're like,
what if a boat was a country? But it's just like, guys,
we've had boats this whole time. Boat already exist. Let's

make what a country. The freedom Ship was the dream
of an engineer named Norman Nixon in the early nineteen nineties,
right around the same time as Lazarus found his shoals
Norman had. Norman had the brilliant and totally original idea
to create a planned community on an island outside of
the US. Unfortunately, wars kept breaking out around the islands

that he wanted to choose, so he was unable to
pick any of them. Norman decided then to build his
own damn island. He brought on specialists to help him
sell this idea, including a marketing director who asked him,
if we're going to build an island and we're going
to put some houses on it, then why not make
it move? Oh my goodness, I just you know, you're
talking about reinventing the government, just like working back from

island to boat. Yeah. I also love Okay, I got
to create a government. I need a marketing director. Top
of the list, top of the list. Yeah. And yeah,
this is just cruise ships, which are which are terrible
places for horrible people. Yeah. Yeah, and it's like just
go on a cruise just just just become like a

waiter on a cruiseal and fine as this will end.
I think the visions a lot of these people put
forward of life in their cee utopias. I would prefer
to be a waiter run a cruise ship, knowing full
well that's about the worst job on planet Earth. So
Norman decided his new his new nation would live aboard

a ship. Um, but not just any ship. He announced
through the same kind of libertarian magazines and online spaces
as as the other people did. He announced that he
was going to build the largest boat in human history.
It was going to be forty feet long and twenty
five stories high, six times larger than any ship ever built.
Norman put the price tag for this project at a

lean six billion dollars, which feels like a bargain. Yeah,
I guess if he got it. If he got that
six billion, Uh yeah, why not? So the idea was
brilliantly unhinged. Norman said the ship would never dock, it
would never get close to the It would never get
closer than twelve miles away from the shore, so it
would always be within international waters, never crossing inside the

legal boundaries of any nation. People would only be able
to reach it by boat shuttles or airplanes. It was
going to have an airport on it. Also, Yeah, just
the biggest a mile long boat. Is he going to
escape with all that money when it all crashed? The
biggest boat ever. Um condos Aboard would start at four

and twenty five thousand dollars with a one thousand dollar
monthly maintenance its fee, because in this libertarian utopia, you're
not allowed to fix your own home. Norman estimated twenty
four thousand units would be on the ship, and he
was sure that once he'd sold that many, he'd have
enough cash to actually build it. And and by the way,
again it's worth noting he's not just talking about building
a boat. He's talking about like the most significant construction

project in human history, like an order of magnitude more
complicated than the tallest building ever made. He's talking about
the most amazing thing. Yeah, that can grow its own food,
and all it needs is the money first. Yeah, it's
just a money problem. Good deal, good deal. So Wired
actually interviewed Norman over this, and best of all, they

brought an experts to analyze how realistic his claims were.
Quote I don't imagine that people would buy this and
would live on this thing for the rest of their lives.
They would see it as a sort of vacation home.
I could see a lot of criminals buying condos, said
Gene Feldman and ocean an oceanographer with the NASA Goddard
Space Flight Center. Based on his own experiences living on
ships and small islands, Feldman said, it's very different living

in an environment where you have very definite boundaries. You
can see the extent of your world, and that does
something to your brain. After a while, you lose your
sense of time and space. He's just like, I don't
think they're thinking about what it would be like to
live forever on a boat that never gets closer than
twelve miles to shore. They're creating their own prison like that.
You're making a floating prison for everybody going back to

water world. That's not a cheery look at the future.
Like us all living in the ocean would be exhausting. Yeah,
there's a lot that you have to People aren't supposed
to be in the ocean. As you so astutely noted,
Dave's it literally adapt a lot to it. It literally
pushes us out of it. Every time we try to
go in. It doesn't want us. We can't drink it.

It's filled with monsters. Leave it alone. Just leave it alone,
Leave it alone. Toss some car batteries into it and
get on with your day. Give it a car battery
or two. Yeah, for the heels, Yeah, exactly, or the dolphins,
whatever they want to do with it. It's their card battery. Now,
you know, once it hits the ocean, they own it.

Which if that, if we actually made that law, they
might have enough nukes to stop us from destroying their environment. Um,
so they just need thumbs. That's the one thing they need.
I think they could figure it out. They're smart um
in media, sort of like blasts and whatnot. Norman and
his agents bragged that they're floating island would be a

huge tourist draw, with more than ten thousand hotel rooms available, casinos,
printing companies, furniture outlets, department stores, all tax free. They
were particularly bullish about the promise of taking an American
style mall around the world so foreigners could shop just
like us, but on a boat. Did he see selling point?
Did he? Did you say? Printing companies? Yeah? Where it's

like there's casinos and restaurants. Also, you can make copies
of the yeah yeah, like no government interviews with you.
You can print anything you want, printing your zines, even
tasteful nudes of wealth. And then we get into the
age of consent stuff again. Um, So as it happens,
the Liberty ship organizers plan to go just go ahead

and use U S. Dollars as their currency. Um. This
was justified because it was easier. Thank everybody values dollars.
We'll just use th I get it, like money, money,
do that later, do that. I've already lived under the
tyranny of a nation. But like I mean, you know,
dollars sort of again, inventing your own money. It's just yeah,

it's it is. It's a whole thing. If you're convinced
that people need money, you might as well just use
money that already exists. Um. Although now we have crypto,
which we'll talk about it a little bit. Even though
the ship planned to stay in international waters, the Liberty
was going to fly the flag of a nation. This
is a requirement for international maritime law. Uh Norman. Norman

claimed that Ireland had agreed to let them register there
and that the ship was going to fly in Irish flag,
which would mean that the people on board the Liberty
would be bound by Irish law, which did not at
that point I think, allow abortion, among other things. Oh Man,
also you said claimed that, Yeah, he said that they
had worked out a deal. You know, I feel like

I know where that's going. Yeah, so he's saying we're
gonna fly under an Irish flag and everyone will be
accountable to Irish law. But then there's all sorts of
principle libertarian jargon and the promo materials like quote, there
will be no intrusion into or involvement with personal business
finances or commercial transactions, which I don't know Ireland might
have something to say about Ireland's like, yeah, there will be.

Norman bragged that only food sanitation would be regulated, which,
beyond making him f D a cukeed is still at
odds with Irish law and with libertarian practice. Why just
why just food sanitation? Can people not take care of
that themselves? Norman R This This feels like if I
set up like a cardboard stand outside that sold crystal
meth and called it Starbucks, you know, and it's just

like this is another Starbucks, folks, Starbucks approved, here's your
crystal meth, like, that's that's what they're creating here. Yeah,
and he's he's trying to get it people to believe
that like, well, well, flat flight or in Irish flag flag.
But whatever crimes you want to do when you're living here,
they're not gonna have any problem with. You can run
your cocaine empire from our floating boat and you're good

to go. It's a real like, don't worry my roommates,
totally cool. That is what they're doing. So Wired did
their due diligence and they reached out to experts in
boat stuff to put some of the claims by the
liberty people to the test. And here's one example. David
Hall at the Center for Marine Conservation said, dealing with
massive amounts of solid wastes generated on board, it's just

one of many concerns. There are all sorts of questions
that they'll have to deal with, such as what hazard,
if any, would it post marine animals? Whales are hit
by ships all the time. He said, it sounds as
if a collided with this thing, I don't think it
would have much of a chance. Still, the plan and
The fundraising went on in two thousand. After three years
of feverish propagandizing, the freedom Ship had evolved beyond just

a project of Norman Nixon, and now it accumulated a
sports team's worth of managers and investors speaking for it.
Here's how they sold it. In an article three years later,
the freedom Ship's creators say the vessel, whose construction is
due to start in Honduras this summer, will be one
of the wonders of the world. The company behind the
scheme said reservations for the twenty thousand homes on board
have begun to accelerate, and there were already plans for

two other floating cities. Freedomship will be nearly a mile long,
seven ft wide and three ft tall, and will have
room for forty thousand people, including a staff of ten thousand.
There will be a school in a university on board,
not to mention, a landing strip, a hospital, a shopping mall,
a casino, and two hundred acres of open space. Roger Gooch,
the ship's marketing vice president, claims fiftcent of the units reserved.

Later in the article, which opens with the author noting
that creators say the ship will be a new wonder
of the world. Construction was claimed to be starting in
sixty to ninety days. Um so yeah, by this point,
tourism is no longer the draw. They're not claiming people
are gonna like show up here. Gooch claims that the
boat company, the people making this are just a giant
landlord and that's all they want to do is provide

entrepreneurs with spaces to do their businesses. But they also
want to set up a university. Um where it's bragged
like they want to set up a university for the
kids there to go to, but also so that drug
companies can do unregulated tests on people. Sure they and
they love this casino thing. They really want casinos, and
I get it because it's basically they want to they're

just trying to create a town. But then just like
a shady town. That's it. It's a town, a town
for just crimes in one school, yeah, where they want
to shoot you up with unregulated drugs, right, like if
it weren't for the shady stuff, just create a town. Yeah,
you know, like that's it, that's all you're making. You

can do that anywhere, uh well not anywhere, but yeah,
it's it's purely I think that's why it's always sketchy, right,
because it always comes down to we want to do
really shady stuff, and we're gonna make it seem like
we're just you know, we're sucking off into the ocean.
We're doing our own little utopia where you can do anything.

Like that's always like the underlining part. Yeah. So here's
the thing, David. You you know libertarians right, like personally,
I mean, how do you think as a general rule,
how do you think libertarians feel about the FBI? Oh god,
I'm sure they like, I'm sure they really respect them.

Uh well, you know they understand, you know, it's a job.
You know, you you gotta do what you gotta do,
and they're very respectful to them if they like talk
to them, well any authority. David. It's funny because you're
you're you're going, you're doing this because normally when libertarians
and the FBI intersect, it's a gunfight. Um right, This
it's very funny because they hire an FBI agent to

to keep track of law and order on their floating ship.
Oh wow wow. Yeah, so they're just doing doing in America,
but with like you can you can sell drugs. I
guess right, they're just doing the Pirate Bay, Like that's
the whole thing is. It's just know, the Pirate Bay
would have been way cooler, Dave, Oh, absolutely, it's just

but all these things are it's just like, hey, get
in on this before we're shut down, you know, like
that's it. And if they were honest, I don't know
if I'd respect them more because you know, some of
the things they want to do is horrifying. But like
if it was like, look, we just want to go
gamble on stuff and like do a bunch of drugs.
So we're creating this quote unquote country. Uh, and we

don't really believe in anything. But I might be a
citizen if it was exactly if that was that what's
going on. But now these are like, look, we're just
being Vegas in the ocean, uh, and we're you know,
you can't kill people there, you can't do like, you
can't do a lot of funked up stuff. We just
want a little more freedom, just a little able to
be like like do a little do some stuff that's

crimes elsewhere, but we don't want to people to be
murdering each other. This is not an ideological thing. We
just think it would be neat if we could sell
crack cocaine and operate a casino, I would be like great, exactly,
But it's like we'll go to your casino and smoke crack.
If it's like, look, if someone murders someone, that's not cool.
But if you yeah, if you like do a bunch
of PCP and fall into our engine, I mean that's that.

It is what it is, like, it's what you're here
to do, and and it's it's frustrating to me. Like
these guys, that's kind of how they want to, Like
they say, they talk a good game about like liberty,
like no intrusions on personal liberties, all that stuff, and
then they hire like so in this article from like
three years later, Mr Gooch tells the interviewer that they

hired a former FBI man to head a two thousand
person security force with state of the art defensive weapons. Um, yeah,
and different. He talks about how like, oh, different, every
deck and Flora will have their own elected representatives, but
also the captain's word will be final final. So it's like,
so you want to have an ocean dictatorship run by
the FBI with guns and no one else gets guns,

and you're calling yourself a libertarian right there, Like look,
every deck has its own like representative, and then there's
like a president of the vote, like just it's just
doing government. It's always just doing Yeah, and we'll have
an unaccountable armed wing of the state that can do
violence to you with no recourse and yeah, it's it's see,

we're freedom freedom. This all reminds me a little bit.
This is weird of Disney World, because Disney World is
like when it was established, they did a lot of
stuff with Florida where they're like, look, just stay out
of here, We'll have our own E. M T s
and stuff like fire like that's essentially what they're trying
to do. But like Florida obviously still or Disney still

exists in the country, but it feels very much like
like well Disney's dream of Epcot and stuff where he
was like, I want this to be its own nation. Uh,
but you know, Disney has rights. So I guess what
I'm saying is have some fucking rights on your country,
and I think it'll work out. Like if they have
a like a like a log Flume, I'd be like

this is great, that's great, good for them. But instead
they just want to Yeah. I don't know what they want.
I guess they just want to, uh do a bunch
of illegal ship yep. Yeah, and and which is fine too.
I guess I don't have their own FBI. To have
their own FBI. Yeah, it's cool. You know what else

is cool? Dave? Oh no, your my plugables? Is the
episode over? Yeah? This part one is over? Okay, okay,
hey listen, Hey hi. Um, I'm on Twitter at movie Hooligan. Um.
I run a podcast network with Tom Ryman, uh called

game Fully Unemployed. You can find that wherever you find podcasts.
We have we we we we do stuff about movies
and such. Uh. We have a Patreon Patreon dot com
slash game fully Unemployed. Uh, there's a bunch of exclusive
podcasts on that. I'm also I'm a head writer for
some more news. Check that out as well. That's all

my stuff. Well, um, I'm no one and you can
find me nowhere. Good Bye forever.

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